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The End of the One-Child Policy in China

The year 2015 is extremely important in the development of China as it marked the revocation of the law that allowed each family to have a single child only. The law itself was adopted between 1978 and 1980 and aimed at limiting the rapid growth of Chinese population. It was supposed to improve the quality of life of Chinese people. In fact, the law itself was treated by the world as violation of the human rights. Its cancellation received different feedbacks in mass media that both praised such a great step and emphasized the regret concerning the irrecoverable changes caused by its functioning.

In order to understand the importance of the end of the one-child policy in China, it is necessary to immerse in the history of its implementation and analyze its influence on the lives of people around the country. The promotion of birth control began in the middle of the 20th century in order to slow down the tempo of population growth. However, its consequences were far more significant than they were supposed to be. The law caused the change in the ratio between genders. It was a historically formed tradition to give preference to boys as they inherited the family name and possessions. Due to that reason, the one-child policy resulted in an increase in the number of male population (Spence, 714). It had considerable impact on the economy of the country as many families did not report the birth of subsequent children. These people were doomed to live without any documents and work illegally. In addition, prohibition of having more than one child resulted in the phenomenon of ageing population.

In 2015, the end of the one-child policy became one of the central topics in the world of mass media. The article “China Ends One-Child Policy after 35 Years” provides positive evaluation of this occasion. Published in The Guardian, it calls the cancellation of the policy a “step towads greater personal freedom in China” (Lin). It provides the short overlook of the existence of the law and enriches the article with the shocking data regarding its consequences. The article states that the governmental limitation of the number of children in families resulted in the prevention of approximately 400 million births. The outer control of personal life cannot be accepted as fully cancelled as the government simply increased the allowed amount of children but did not free Chinese population of its control. However, revocation of this law is already a great step on the way to promotion of personal freedom and defense of human rights.

Numerous media sources were more focused on the explosion of the negative impact made by the one-child policy. Particularly, there was emphasized the fact that cancellation of the one-child policy provoked the rise of feeling of isolation and loneliness in the hearts of people who were born in the times when the policy acted. The article entitled “End of China’s One-Child Policy Stings Its Loneliest Generation” states that people of that generation felt deprived of normal life (Hernandez and Qin). “The ‘one-child’ policy ended in 2015, but this generation’s loneliness never goes away,” – Hernandez and Qin quote one of the Chinese media sources. People who were born during the implementation of the policy are mostly indignant regarding the fact that their lives were unfairly dictated by the outer policy. They do not feel lucky to have just a single child as now they are facing the responsibility to take care of the elder generation that exceeds them in number. Some people even demanded the government to provide some compensation, but in fact, nothing can actually heal the wounded souls of the members of Chinese society.

Some experts try to justify the one-child policy and call mankind to treat it as a necessary social experiment. The previiously mentioned article written by Hernandez and Qin provides comments of the defenders of the law. They claim that the policy was the only solution to the problem of overpopulation (Hernandez & Qin). Moreover, its consequences are not exclusively negative. One-child generation is far more educated; it got more attention from their parents and has now much closer relationships with their families.

However, many sources refute these statements. Article written by Barbara Demick defines the possible life without adoption of the one-child policy and proves the mistaken opinions concerning its necessity. The author provides her interview with Mei Fong, a famous Chinese writer, who believes that “a lot of us make the mistake of crediting the one-child policy as a major factor in China’s rapid economic growth” (Demick). However the rise of manufactures owes to the existence of cheap labor that was the consequence of the growth, but not shortening in population. Moreover, the one-child policy was not the only possible solution to the problem regarding overpopulation. The article refers to the practices adopted in other Asian countries, including South Korea, Taiwan or Singapore, which were less strict and equally effective. One of these population-planning policies encouraged late marriages and longer intervals between having children (Demick).

The cancellation of the one-child policy was a great decision that had a considerable influence on both personal development of the members of Chinese society and the country in general. Numerous media sources provide the insight in the nature of the law and describe this event through the prism of historical perspective. The appeal to history demonstrates certain background of the policy, reasons of its appearance and abandonment that lay in past. Hence, only acquaintance with historical maters may provide the full understanding of positive and negative outcomes of the event.

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